object relations

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In psychoanalysis, the emotional bonds that people form with instinctual objects, in contradistinction to interest in and love of oneself. It is given expression through capacity to form loving relationships with other people, any such bond being called an object-relationship. The concept is associated with the work of the British-based Austrian psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) as set forth in her books The Psycho-Analysis of Children (1932) and Contributions to Psycho-Analysis, 1921–1945 (1948), and her followers. See defensive technique, Kleinian, schizoid personality, Winnicottian. See also object instinct, object-relations theory. Compare narcissism.

Subjects: Psychology.

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